San Leandro Reviews
Summary: Mediocre Japanese foods in dated surroundings
I don't like sushi, which explains why I haven't been to Sushi Musashi even though it's within walking distance of my house. So when my friend Penelope called in April 2006 and suggested a play-date followed by lunch there, I was glad to finally give it a try. In all we agreed that the food was fine, but that there are better choices for sushi and teriyaki around.
The small restaurant is located at the downtown Safeway shopping center, next to the UPS store. Inside it has a few nice wooden tables under a carved wooden canopy - and many more cheap glass tables surrounded by metal chairs. There is also a sushi bar. The whole place looks dated and a bit untidy - an OK place for an informal meal, but not someplace you'd bring a date. It is child-friendly; there is a dresser in its sole bathroom that can work well as a changing table and they do have high chairs, albeit they are the prehistoric kind that come with an attached metal tray. I'm not a fan of these, as they don't provide a restraint for the child and cannot be pushed next to the table. On the other hand, it does allow the child to make a mess in a limited area. Still, I wasn't able to keep Camila there for long periods of time.
The menu is typical for a Japanese restaurants, with assorted appetizers, including deep fried items ($4.50 to $8), several meat and fish entrees (teriyaki, katsu, udon, donburi, curry, etc. - $6-13 for lunch, $8-14 for dinner) and a wide variety of sushi. Penelope had one of the combinations - I don't remember exactly what it included - and she felt the sushi was fine, nothing exciting. I ordered the unagi hand roll ($4) for Mika, which turned out to be a seaweed cone filled with rice, avocado and unagi. Mika ate a little bit of it, she's usually a big unagi eater but she's fickle enough that I wouldn't go by her taste.
Kathy, who was visiting, had the beef teriyaki ($8). She wasn't impressed by the dish - she felt she could make it at home quite easily. I did feel that the sauce tasted like it came out of a bottle, but I liked the charbroiled taste of the beef. Still, I agreed it wasn't a dish worth paying $8 for.
My chicken katsu ($7) was also somewhat disappointing. It was a bit on the dry side, and the breading was too thick. The sauce was fine, but also bottle-quality. I wouldn't bother ordering it again, but I wouldn't mind eating it either.
Service was very rushed and somewhat neglectful. It seemed like they were short staffed, at least that day.
In all, I don't see a reason to return, Makiyaki at the Pelton Center is better and only a few blocks away.
1275 Washington Ave.
San Leandro, CA
Tu-Th 11 AM - 2:30 PM, 5 PM - 9:30 PM
F-Sa 11 AM - 2:30 PM, 5 PM - 10 PM
Su: 5 PM - 9:30 PM